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Vanity insanity: Aussies forking out $1.6 billion a month on self care

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Aussies are spending a small fortune on their physical appearance despite the cost of living crunch, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,073 respondents revealed 2 in 5 (41%) – equivalent to 8.3 million people – indulge in self care treatments every month.

The average Australian spends $431 on beauty services a month – which equates to $1.6 billion dollars a month and a staggering $19.7 billion a year.

Women are more saddled with the cost of beauty than men, with 3 in 5 (57%) spending on these treatments compared to just a quarter of men (26%).

Sarah Megginson, money expert at Finder said it's clear many Aussies love their self-care regimes.

"Despite rising costs, people are spending a big portion of their incomes on personal care.

"You'd think the number of these optional beauty routines like manicures, eyelash extensions and facials might have taken a hit, but many are reluctant to give them up."

The research found 34% of us have a monthly hair appointment – 46% of women and 22% of men – costing us $75 on average.

Overall 1 in 5 (20%) are attending nail appointments, including 1 in 3 women (32%), at a cost of $39 a pop.

Botox is the most expensive appointment costing $131 a month on average ($372 million nationally).

Eyelash extensions ($39), facials ($37), teeth whitening ($34) and laser hair removal ($31) followed.

Megginson said it's a sense of confidence and comfort driving people to hold onto their beauty routines at all costs.

"Social media has set unrealistic beauty standards – it's a major confidence killer. And now it's not just hurting their self-esteem, it's hurting their budgets too.

"We're seeing people spending well above their means to achieve and maintain their beauty rituals."

Finder analysis shows that if that $431 a month we spend on self-care were to be invested monthly into a high interest saving account earning 5.65% – the highest ongoing offer in Finder's database – it would grow to a staggering $30,373 in 5 years. That's $4,082 in interest.

Megginson said this spending is coming at a cost to household budgets.

"By all means invest in yourself and your own self-care, but it's important to be really clear about what it's costing you – now and in the future.

"It's all about balance – there are ways to take care of yourself without breaking your bank account," Megginson said.

How much do you usually spend per month on the following personal care treatments/procedures?
Individual averageNational average
Botox/Filler/Plastic surgery$131$372 million
Hair appointments$75$517 million
Eyelash extensions$39$134 million
Nail appointments$39$158 million
Skin treatments/facials$37$113 million
Teeth whitening$34$103 million
Laser hair removal$31$101 million
Eyebrow microblading or lamination$20$61 million
Waxing$20$65 million
Fake tanning$5$15 million
Total$431$1.6 billion
Source: Finder survey of 1,073 respondents, August 2023
In the past 12 months, have you done the following personal care treatments/procedures?
WomenMenTotal
Hair appointments46%22%34%
Nail appointments32%10%20%
Botox/Filler/Plastic surgery19%10%14%
Eyelash extensions24%9%17%
Waxing24%10%16%
Laser hair removal22%9%16%
Teeth whitening20%11%15%
Skin treatments/facials22%10%15%
Eyebrow microblading or lamination22%10%15%
Fake tanning20%9%15%
I have not done any of these personal care treatments/procedures43%74%59%
Source: Finder survey of 1,073 respondents, August 2023

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